The ministry of Economic Affairs is investing an additional 13.2 million euros in Wageningen Research (WR) this year, announced the ministry in parliament in 26 February.
Mona Keijzer, ©Rijksoverheid
The ministry’s aim is to give new impetus to Dutch institutes for applied research. The total amount being spent on this is 42 million euros. Applied science research organization TNO and energy research centre ECN are getting an extra 19 million between them, deltas research institute Deltares 4.2 million, maritime research institute Marin 2.7 million and the aerospace centre NLR 2.9 million euros. This is a systematic budget rise, which may go even higher in the coming years.
The funding is a response to the report of the Schaaf committee, which evaluated the quality of the six research institutes. This committee notes that the research institutes no longer had a sound knowledge base, due to years of budget cuts by The Hague. In its coalition agreement, the new cabinet therefore allocated extra funding to applied research: 80 million in 2018 and up to 200 million in 2020.
In the short term, Wageningen Research now has to outline in a concise spending plan how it wants to spend the extra millions. WUR’s plans must take into account the knowledge and innovation agendas of the ministries and top sectors, and must conform to the National Science Agenda.